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I am looking at using http://drupal.org/project/commons , but I am not sure how easy it is to update a distribution when a new version comes out.

Also, can I use drush to do it, or do I have to manually download and unpack the distribution?

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I've always done it the same way as updating Drupal. Download, delete all the old files/folders, and upload the new. Some distributions (Commerce Kickstart) moves everything inside the distribution so you can't just go deleting willy nilly on some. Not sure about Commons but you can check and make sure you're not deleting anything needed. Some distribution maintainers are nice and also provide patches to update only what is necessary.

  • Great. Can I update modules individually, or should I download and unpack the main distribution file? Can I use drush for distributions? – giorgio79 Oct 15 '12 at 9:17
  • I don't see why you couldn't use Drush but as a caveat I'll say I've never used Drush to update a distribution. Maybe there's something there I don't know about. I've always updated all modules freely except on Drupal Commerce, where they've either hardcoded a lot of things, or have some other reason you can't update the modules. Check the distribution docs to find out if you should avoid updating the modules or have to wait until they are updated within the distribution itself. If it is a security fix, the distribution maintainer should update immediately regardless. – o_O Oct 15 '12 at 9:21
  • Typically Drush can update modules in /sites/all/modules and root/modules. However, it's modules inside of root/profiles/distro_name/modules won't be (and frankly shouldn't be updated by drush). – Rick Nov 13 '12 at 19:26
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With drush for commons 7.x you can do:

drush up drupal -y
drush dl commons -y
drush updatedb -y
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    This won't apply patches to core that the distribution has added. – Sam152 Aug 23 '17 at 4:51

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